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(En pleine gueule)

Year: 1973
Language: French
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 113 min
Director: Jean-Claude Lord
Producer: Pierre David
Writer: Jean-Claude Lord, Lise Thouin, Michel Capistran, Roch Poisson, Jean Salvy
Cinematographer: François Protat, Claude Rue
Editor: Jean-Claude Lord
Sound: Henri Blondeau
Music: Michel Comte
Cast: Gilles Pelletier, Réjean Guénette, Anne-Marie Provencher, Claude Michaud, Alexandra Stewart, Manda Parent
Production Company: Les Productions Mutuelles Ltée, Tekniciné Inc., Jean-Claude Lord Inc.

It is election time in Quebec when a strike breaks out at an American-owned company. Fledgling photographer François (Réjean Guénette), the son of one of the workers, goes to the factory with his girlfriend GeneviPve (Anne-Marie Provencher) to take pictures. He is recruited by Fernand (Claude Michaud), a mysterious ex-union leader, into a growing separatist and left-wing terrorist organization. Shortly thereafter, the terrorists kidnap five political and business leaders, detonating bombs and killing several people in the process. As panic spreads, the army intervenes and the popularity of the right-wing candidate increases. It eventually becomes clear that Fernand is in collusion with the police, and François and Geneviéve are killed. The right-wing party wins the election and the new leader goes on a holiday to Central America, where he meets up with Fernand.

Skilfully packaged to exploit the October Crisis – and even more skilfully promoted – this melodrama of a right-wing plot to seize power was an enormous popular success in Quebec and the subject of an intensive critical debate about its credentials as a left-wing film. Bingo is carefully crafted, if somewhat schematic in plot development and characterization. Although it neatly exploits the post-October Crisis, post-Watergate paranoia prevalent in North America at the time, the film does so with considerable panache – and one cannot but admire director Jean-Claude Lord’s mastery of the medium in this, his third feature.

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